THE award-winning head of Dudley District Special Constabulary has resigned over allegations he misused his police force Twitter account by sending inappropriate personal messages.

James Horton, who was based at Brierley Hill Police Station, rose through the ranks to head a team of more than 60 volunteer special constables after volunteering his time to West Midlands Police for over a decade.

He was even awarded the prestigious Chief Constable Award for Outstanding Contribution in July last year for his dedication in continuing to volunteer for the force while battling Non Hodgkin lymphoma, following his diagnosis in 2011, with police chiefs at the time commending his dedication, enthusiasm and professionalism.

But Mr Horton, who was also presented with a long service medal in 2009, resigned from the force with immediate effect last month over allegations he misused his work social media account, against force policy, with a West Midlands Police spokesman confirming he was also referred to the Police Professional Standards Department following his conduct.

Although no further details have been revealed regarding the actual misuse, he is believed to have made inappropriate personal messages and his Twitter account has since been deleted.

The spokesman added: “Any breaches of force policy are taken extremely seriously and will be thoroughly and professionally investigated.”

Special constable Stuart Pearson has taken over the role of acting head of the Dudley District Special Constabulary, which provides volunteer policing across the borough.

Uniformed specials are expected to give up at least 16 hours of their spare time each month to work alongside regular officers.

Mr Horton was unavailable for comment as the News went to press.